How to Prepare for Going Back to Work After Maternity Leave
Returning to work after having a baby is something that most women would love to do, but are apprehensive about. Looking after your child is definitely a soul-filling, satisfying job to do- but that does not mean that you are under an obligation to do just that for the years to come. Going back to work is always a great idea, provided you have made the right arrangements and are prepared for it.
It is not as easy as it sounds- you will definitely be anxious and worried always when getting back to work after maternity leave. However, you are sure to calm down once you get to grips with the situation, and you will soon find yourself enjoying life even more. However, the important thing is to ensure that you have made the best arrangements for your child, and are prepared- both physically and emotionally- to get back into the real world. Here are ways to transition back to work after maternity leave smoothly.
Tips for Going Back to Work After Delivering the Baby
Some of the tips are:
1. Trustworthy Childcare
The answer to the question of who is going to look after your child has to be sorted out as early as possible. It has to be somebody you can trust to take care of your baby so that the baby is never harmed. If you have family members to look after your child, you are lucky – else, start searching for a good daycare facility. It is also important to remember that no time is too soon- especially considering that many great daycare facilities now even have a waiting list. So start searching for a good place as early as possible, even if that is before the child is even born – it plays a huge role in your mental well-being.
2. Plan Breastfeeding
Remember to check whether there are clean, empty areas at your workplace for breast pumping. Tell your employers about your situation, and make sure that you have the required facilities at your workplace, so as to be comfortable while breastfeeding. Another thing you can do is to start practising the new breastfeeding schedule as early as possible so that your child gets used to it by the time you return to work.
3. Stock Up
When you return to work after your maternity leave, you have to have a few essentials with you. This includes a breast pump, nursing pads and healthy snacks so that you are never hungry. A good breast pump not only does half the work for you but also reduces the hassle of breast pumping. Nursing pads are a must too, as a dress stained with breast milk is not something that you would love to show off! Snacks are important, as you may have been snacking more than you know when you are home caring for your child – all of these can make the transition very smooth.
4. Keep a Photo of the Child
You are definitely going to miss your child when you are at work, even if it is only for a short duration. After having had the child in close proximity for such a long time, mothers can be affected by separation anxiety really hard. So remember to keep a photo of the child with you always, so that you feel more comforted when you look at it- but remember to not look at it always, as you will end up missing your baby even more! Smartphones have definitely made our lives easier with regard to this aspect, haven’t they!
There is no harm in asking, so ask your employer for flexibility regarding work matters if you can. Ask as early as possible, perhaps even before you give birth. This can give them time to prepare for it, and you might get flexible timings or even work-from-home options to help you care for the child better.
6. Set a Date
Set the date of returning to work to somewhere in the middle of the workweek. This can help you get to grips with the situation better, and you can ease back into your workplace much smoother.
7. No Changing Childcare
No matter how appealing the childcare you heard from your friend seems, do not change your current childcare. This is because babies take time to get comfortable with a person, and changing the facility frequently can result in the child being unsettled and anxious. Also, the relationship between the mother and the childcare is an important one too, so that you can discuss how your baby is doing and about her progress.
8. Quality Time
When you get back to work after your baby is born, the prospect of taking work back home to be near your baby can be an appealing one. However, this is counterproductive – not only are you too distracted to work properly, your baby will not get the attention he deserves either. So devote the time you spend at work to completing it, and ensure that your child gets quality time with his mother when you are back home.
9. Always Have Backup
No matter how well you have laid out plans regarding your child, they can all unravel in a jiffy. Your baby might get ill, or your babysitter might get ill – it all results in your plans being thrown to jeopardy. So always have a Plan B, which is sure to come in handy sometime or other. It can be a friend, family or even another babysitter.
10. Make a Cooking Plan
Cooking at home can be difficult once you start working, as you will want to spend that time bonding with your baby. So make up a cooking plan, and spread out cooking over the week. You can cook in bulk during the weekends, and use the time you get after work to better effect. It is best to split cooking duties with your partner so that both of you get time with the baby.
Sleep is important for a mother, even if she is not going to work. You will soon find out that juggling between work and your child is harder than you think, so stock up on your sleep as much as possible – you will need it.
12. Don’t Make Big Decisions
The first few days of getting back to work are overwhelming – you will feel out of control with the situation and feel that everything is moving too fast for you. At this time, you might think that the whole thing was a mistake, and worse, you might even take the huge decision of quitting. So before taking any decisions you may regret, try to navigate the new environment for a few days.
13. Make An Effort
You might think that new clothes or putting on some makeup are not a big deal, but they influence you more than you know – it has been proven that women get a massive confidence boost through such simple tasks.
Getting back to work after pregnancy can feel overwhelming, and you might feel that caring for the baby is the right thing to do at such an early stage. Guilt is common among working mothers, but there is nothing to be guilty about – your child is a blessing, and should never be something that weighs you down! Work will be better for you in the long run, and you do not have to feel guilty at all if you have made the best arrangements for your child.
Also Read: Breastfeeding At Work